on 17 August 2011
You know when you listen to a power ballad and you can't help but clench your fist and look up at the sky? Mix that with the rush of anger and excitement you get from listening to a fast-paced hardcore punk track and voila! You have David Comes To Life!
It's incredibly refreshing to see a punk rock/hardcore band who have so much energy (both on the record and live) actually have the balls to create an epic tale, a concept album that works and flows so damn well!
The album is long and, for an album that's part of such a heavy genre, it is incredibly dynamic and ambitious.
It's hard to explain exactly what it is that keeps you entranced by this record. The lyrics tell a very clear, yet very descriptive story of love, pain and life, all the while refusing to cease the onslaught of heavy drum beats and dynamic, catchy riffs.
The use of female vocals on certain tracks works really well to add to the flow and the dynamics of each track.
This is one of those albums that makes you think. It gives you the feeling of reading an enthralling novel with old-school punk rock playing in the background. It's an addictive album that you'll want to listen to again and again, partly because you'll want to understand David and the story each track tells and partly because it's a fantastic album that you can't help but scream along to!
Get this album, it is easily one of 2011's finest!
on 6 July 2011
Having grown up on a diet of Husker Du, The Replacements, Black Flag, Minor Threat and Minutemen (thanks to elder siblings with fine taste), I'd grown a little weary of the current punk scene (hardcore or otherwise). Not since At The Drive-In unleashed 'Relationship Of Command' way back in 2000 have I been felt anything resembling excitement towards any of todays more abrasive acts. Bands such as Off!!, Art Brut, No Age and the fantastic Titus Andronicus have offered some respite but in general we seem, collectivly, to be awash within a sea of tepid ignorance towards the art & importance that punk can inspire. Too many times have I seen chancers such as the atrocious Paramore or the truly insipid noise of All Time Low (neither of which would claim the title of 'hardcore' or possibly 'punk', but never-the-less, this is what the youth of today are being bred on. THIS is what they consider relevent).
But this week my love of everything the classic american punk acts held dear came racing back when I chanced upon 'David Comes To Life' by F***ed Up. Now I must hold my hands up and admit that this is the first FU record I've heard. Having heard only good things about their previous work (especially 'The Chemistry Of Common Life'), I neglected to search them out. My apathy towards anything resembling my cherished memories of the 80's hardcore scene meant that I was getting my musical fix from other leftfield artists such as the Animal Collective & Grizzly Bear. But sensing a lull in quality over recent LP's (seriously, The Cults is incredibly over-rated and only 'Bon Iver, Bon Iver' has kept me going the last couple of weeks) I decided to give the band's most recent output a chance to impress me.
And Impresed I certainly was. This is a milestone in modern music (punk or otherwise). 18 songs played out over 77 minutes, 'David Comes To life' is a lengthy rock opera that rivals the best in the genre such as 'Tommy' by The Who or 'Zen Arcade' from the peer-less Husker Du. The band's thrice guitar line-up, which on paper seems grossly over-indulgent & wholly un-punk like, combine breath-takingly throughout. Tracks seem to flow with a natural progression and it never feels convulted or over-egged. The only sticking point for some will be the vocals of man-mountain Pink Eyes (each of the group take up a different moniker including 10,000 Marbles, Gulag, Young Governor, Mustard Gas, Mr Jo and the aformentioned Pink Eyes) whose deep-throated delivery may have some running for cover. But anyone who grew up with the sounds of Henry Rollins ringing in their ears will feel right at home.
The album does tell a story of sorts (and there is some serious noise about a future musical) but in all honesty it feels rather unimportant once the needle hits. My advice is to sit back, forget about the story and remember a time when the term punk actually meant something. Introduce this to as many kids as possible and remind them that music CAN change the world, it can make a difference and that those damn Fall Out Boy CD's can still be used as a decent coaster replacement.
on 30 June 2014
I'm getting on. Nearly fifty. Fan of Husker Du et al first time round. This is better than Zen Arcade but echos the ambitions of thet early punk prog concept album. Why? Well it has better songs, better produced and better playing. Great album with standout tracks (Other Shoe, Life in Paper, Ship of Fools, Recursive Girl) so just go out and buy it.